John Jasper, a brooding, moody choirmaster at a finishing school in Victorian England, maintains a secret life that includes frequenting an opium den. His tortured mind becomes obsessed with a young student, Rosa Bud, who is engaged to his nephew Edwin Drood. When she senses the intensity of Jasper's feelings, she becomes frightened of him and avoids his company. When the mixed-blooded Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena arrive at the school from Ceylon, Neville and Edwin take an immediate dislike to one another over Rosa's affections. Although they quarrel and make up, Edwin disappears, and suspicion logically falls on the quick-tempered Neville. Written by
Shooting began Nov. 18, 1934, completed in January, 1935, released Feb. 4. See more »
After the first dinner party, as David Manners and Douglass Montgomery are walking down the street to go home, the shadow of the boom mike can be seen in the background on the side of the buildings. See more »
When I'm dressed, I feel as if he were looking through the wall at me!
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This Universal film gets called by some one of their horror pictures but I think that's a tad bit off from the truth as it's certainly more melodrama. In the film Claude Rains plays an opium addicted choirmaster who falls in love with a woman (Heather Angel) who just happens to belong to his nephew (David Manners). The woman is loved by a third man (Douglass Montgomery) willing to kill whoever gets in his way and soon the nephew goes missing. MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD is based on an unfinished novel by Charles Dickens. It was unfinished because the legend actually died while writing it so the ending here is something the screenwriter came up with on his own. The film isn't a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination but in the end I think it's way too slow and boring in parts and not to mention that it takes forever to really get going. The biggest problem is the pacing from director Stuart Walker who never really seems to get control of the film. It contains way too many slow spots and I think aspects of the drug usage was trimmed to avoid any trouble with the production code. Even the ending features a shot that seems to have been cut back but I won't ruin it. What keeps the film watchable is the performance by Rains who has no troubled playing the obsessed man and I think he's quite believable in the part. Manners, Angel and Montgomery are also good in their parts and we also get to see Valerie Hobson who the same year was in BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. Speaking of that James Whale classic, this film shares many of the same sets, which is fun for fans to spot.
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